Charbonneau Commission tables report with 60 recommendations

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The commission charged with investigating Quebec’s construction industry corruption has tabled its report, recommending protection for whistleblowers, reforms to political donation rules and stiffer penalties for law breaking companies and individuals.

In her report, Justice France Charbonneau concluded corruption and collusion are “far more widespread than originally believed.” She said the commission, which investigated the awarding of government contracts and influence peddling in the construction sector, found that organized crime had indeed infiltrated the industry.

She said in her 1,741-page report that the government must do every- NEWS BRIEFS CONSTRUCTION ACROSS CANADA The Canadian Design and Construction Report — January 2016 – 29 thing it can to protect the legal economy. She said the impact of allowing the corruption to continue would be devastating long term.

Recommendations include:

• Creation of an independent authority to oversee public contracts;

• Better protection for whistleblowers;

• Requirement that construction companies report acts of intimidation or violence;

• Increased penalties for construction companies that break the law, up to and including cancelling licences under Quebec’s building authority, la Régie du bâtiment du Québec; and

• Increased penalties for people who make use of so-called “strawman” schemes. Significant sections of the report have been blacked out because of criminal cases currently before the courts.

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